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  #201  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2008, 1:15 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/ny...ac5&ei=5087%0A

Between Rock and the River, the Going Is Slow, and Costly



BELOW GROUND ZERO Excavation at the site of the World Trade Center. In one area, engineers had to go 120 feet below ground to find bedrock because of an ancient gorge in a former glacial streambed.



Tiebacks, essential support for the foundation, are made of 21 strands of steel bridge cabling. They must be anchored to bedrock.



By GLENN COLLINS
January 13, 2008


At the eastern portion of ground zero, hundreds of workers contend with a nasty subterranean nest: steel and concrete, a defunct railroad, forgotten foundations, landfill, quartz deposits and glacial remnants in a vast pit that the Hudson River ceaselessly tries to inundate with icy, brackish water.

Tiebacks, essential support for the foundation, are made of 21 strands of steel bridge cabling. They must be anchored to bedrock.
They are behind schedule.

For such an ambitious construction project, delays are hardly unusual. But in this case, being late is very expensive.

On Jan. 1, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began paying penalties of $300,000 a day — $3.3 million as of Friday — for missing its deadline to complete the site excavation and preparation for two office towers at the World Trade Center complex.

Since it won’t finish the job until next month, the authority’s penalty phase could top $13 million, all of it paid to Silverstein Properties, owned by the developer Larry A. Silverstein, whose company is the leaseholder on the site and will build on it.

Critics of the authority say that the missed deadline should have been a surprise to no one. “It makes sense that penalties are worked into development deals with the Port Authority, since it has a history of slowing things up thanks to the bureaucratic maze that exists there,” said George J. Marlin, an investment banker who was executive director of the Port Authority from 1995 to 1997.

Mr. Marlin said he did not know the specifics at the site, but said “the bureaucracy of the Port Authority can slow down most anything,” adding, “What they define as fast track, and what a private developer defines as fast track, are two different things.”


But the authority insists that it has done everything possible to further an engineering project of stunning complexity. “Of course, we would have preferred to be on schedule,” said Anthony E. Shorris, executive director of the agency, which owns the site. “We weren’t slowed by paperwork or bureaucracy. It was the challenge of doing a project of this scale in this short a time.”

In the years since the twin towers fell, ground zero has been a magnet for dissent and dysfunction. Rebuilding efforts have been hampered by legal and political wrangling and construction delays, including the redesign and re-siting of the Freedom Tower; the off-again, on-again demolition of the black-shrouded Deutsche Bank building; and the announcement last month that the World Trade Center Memorial will be delayed two years until the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2011.

The authority’s contractors are completing a year-old, 6.7-acre excavation called the East Bathtub — extending from Liberty Street to Vesey and from Church Street to Greenwich — to prepare the three acres that will be the sites for the towers. Tower 3, at 175 Greenwich Street, will have 2 million square feet of office space, and Tower 4 will have 1.8 million square feet of office space at 150 Greenwich Street.

So far the East Bathtub price tag is $250 million, a chunk of the $16 billion that will be spent on the entire site to build, among other things, “what is, in essence, five Empire State Buildings,” said Steven Plate, director of trade center construction at the authority.

“We are proud to accomplish what we have so far in such a short time,” especially since 80,000 people daily “have moved through the subway and PATH stations at the site,” he said.

Engineers who have worked at the site said that the subterranean geology is ever surprising. “It’s a very complex, challenging area with a lot of unpredictable obstructions,” said Guy Nordenson, a professor of structural engineering at Princeton, whose engineering firm helped design supports that will preserve the historic ground-zero wall, a feature of the future memorial museum.

“You can do a lot of mapping there,” he added, “and you’ll still find the unexpected.” When asked whether the delays were caused by bureaucratic failings or the imponderables of the site, he said, “I’m inclined to give the Port Authority the benefit of the doubt.”


Silverstein Properties, the new leaseholder of the trade center at the time of the terrorist attacks, has paid the Port Authority nearly $658 million in ground rent — which it received in insurance proceeds — since 2001. In a 2006 renegotiation that designated Silverstein the builder of four towers there, the authority insisted on a five-year limit for the completion of construction, and in turn, Silverstein successfully negotiated for penalties in case the authority failed to complete its excavations on time. That was when the authority signed off on the 2007 completion deadline.

Mr. Silverstein’s current rent — which his company is also paying from insurance proceeds — is $78,740,000 a year, or $215,726 a day. “Our people are anxious to get their boots dirty, and build,” said Janno Lieber, the World Trade Center project director at Silverstein Properties.

The clock will start ticking for Silverstein the moment the authority turns over the tower sites, and thanks to the 2006 deal, “we will lose our equity in these buildings if we don’t finish them within five years — a risk that many developers would not take,” said Mr. Lieber, who nevertheless hopes to finish sooner.

He added, “We won’t be able to accurately assess any impacts to the schedule until we start work.”


Although the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties have often sparred in the past, “we are not interested in perpetuating an atmosphere of recrimination,” Mr. Lieber said of the missed deadline, adding, “We can’t lose sight of the fact that in the scheme of things, this delay is not huge.”

Nevertheless, construction costs “are going up something like 15 percent a year,” he said. “Literally every day’s delay costs the project a lot of money.” Therefore, despite the receipt of the daily $300,000 penalty, he said, “we won’t come out ahead.”

The impact of the construction delay on the Port Authority “will ultimately be minimal,” Mr. Shorris said, because the agency did not have to pay Phoenix Constructors, its East Bathtub contractor, a $10 million bonus it would have won for completing the job on time.

Mr. Shorris added: “To be realistic about it, if we are a few weeks late on a quarter of a billion dollar project, you might say: ‘not so bad.’ “

The greatest factor in the delay “was the rock,” Mr. Shorris said. “Our initial estimates were based on test borings, but they’re not really maps. You only find out when you’re down there.”

Given the size of the planned towers, on a site to the east of the original trade center buildings, deep foundations were essential. But construction managers encountered twice the amount of bedrock they had anticipated. “We expected 2,000 cubic yards but it was double that,” Mr. Plate said. Furthermore, when the engineers reached a level 70 feet below the street, “we expected schist, but we found a much harder rock — quartz,” Mr. Plate said.

And in one area at Church Street near Liberty, the workers had to excavate down to 120 feet to reach bedrock because engineers encountered an ancient gorge in a former glacial streambed.


Especially hard has been the placement of tieback tendons — gleaming new anchors similar to the rusty tiebacks that supported the trade center slurry wall bathtub when the towers fell, withstanding the equivalent of an earthquake of 2.3 magnitude.

In “an exceptionally intricate process,” as Mr. Plate described it, the tiebacks — each made of 21 strands of steel bridge cabling that can be longer than 150 feet — must be drilled down and anchored into both the wall and the bedrock. Some 400 have been installed, with more than 50 to go.

Tieback placement has been daunting because “you don’t want to land the tiebacks in somebody’s building foundation or in the subway tunnel of the No. 1 train,” said Joseph Freglette, the project manager for EE Cruz & Company, a contractor on the site.

The East Bathtub is more than 90 percent completed, a desolate expanse scored with caterpillar treads and boot marks, and reverberating with the incessant whump, whump, whump of gargantuan jackhammers.

Roving 85 feet below the street, like tyrannosaurs in a mechanical Jurassic Park, are more than 20 heavy-duty earth movers and rock removers, including 26-foot-high, 150-ton claws that manhandle ancient steel pilings, which will be recycled for scrap.

So far a mountain of material has been removed, more than 300,000 tons of soil, rock and concrete — enough to top off Giants Stadium, or to fill a line of dump trucks 45 miles long. Each day 70 to 100 trucks carry away the loads.

Everywhere, tracked vehicles wallow like rhinoceroses in a sea of gray mud that can be three feet deep. For although the water-resistant, 1,000-foot-long new concrete bathtub is in place, workers and machines are constantly sloshing in groundwater from the Hudson that pushes up through fissures in the bedrock floor. Only pumping keeps the bathtub from filling.

A dozen self-propelled jackhammers called hoe rams, monsters with $10,000 hardened-steel noses like rock chisels, each remove 50 to 100 cubic yards per day. The waste fills a line of 36-ton dump trucks.

Nearby a 160-ton rock trencher roars; it resembles a mammoth belt sander as it crops flat areas at bedrock.

Thanks to its “sharp engineering learning curve” in the bathtub, Mr. Shorris said, the authority is on schedule to turn over the site for Tower 2 to Mr. Silverstein in June, adding that “we are on our goal for making the PATH station operational in 2011.”

For the workers in the pit, constantly on the lookout for fast-moving mammoth vehicles, “you really have to attend to details,” said Brian Cichetti, a site safety manager for EE Cruz. He said the job was especially significant to him because his wife, Lisa, worked on the 97th floor of the south tower. As he saw the trade center collapse on Sept. 11, 2001, he knew that she was not in danger because she had taken their son Mark to his first day of kindergarten that morning.

But the accelerated schedule has been nightmarish for neighbors like Andy Jurinko, a painter whose live-in, third-floor studio at 125 Cedar Street overlooks the future home of 4 World Trade Center.

He and his wife, Patricia, endure the din seven days a week. “They begin at 5 and keep going until nearly 2 a.m.,” said Mr. Jurinko, 68. “The Port Authority tries to be sympathetic, but the work goes on.”
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  #202  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2008, 11:34 AM
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From wtcrising.com




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  #203  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2008, 11:15 PM
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By the way, the towers may not be completed until 2012, but we won't have to wait that long to see their impact on the skyline. Quote from Silverstein's press conference:
http://www.wtc.com/news/larry-silver...town-manhattan

Quote:
Downtown is very much a mixed-use community and the plans you see here for the new World Trade Center reflect that. These buildings will contain over half a million square feet of prime retail, restaurants and bars being developed by Westfield America - the top-tier retail developer and operator I brought in to run the World Trade Center's retail before 9/11. Each building will be connected to the PATH station, the subway network and the Frank Gehry-designed performing arts center that will be home to the Joyce Theater. And each of these buildings surrounds and respects the Memorial that is the centerpiece of this project - a public space larger than Bryant Park.

The Port Authority has been working hard for many months to prepare the site, and is nearing completion of its excavation of the area where these buildings will stand. We start construction as soon as that work is complete in the next few weeks.

The buildings will reach street level approximately one year after the start of construction and Towers 3 and 4 will top out in mid-2010, with Tower 2 following in 2011.

So, just a couple of years before we see these massive buildings dominate Downtown...
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  #204  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2008, 1:25 AM
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Excellent! I really don't care when the last roll of carpet is put laid down, or when the tenants move in. It's a healed skyline I crave!
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  #205  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2008, 6:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolCzech View Post
Excellent! I really don't care when the last roll of carpet is put laid down, or when the tenants move in. It's a healed skyline I crave!
Excactly.
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  #206  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2008, 12:55 PM
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An interesting piece of info concerning Downtown's rebound...
http://downtownexpress.com/de_250/mixeduse.html

Midtown under Downtown

The ongoing street fight between the Downtown and Midtown office markets has tipped in favor of Lower Manhattan with the recent announcement that its vacancy rates have dipped lower than its rival for the first time in over six years.

The Downtown Alliance stated in its year-end report that Lower Manhattan posted an overall availability percentage rate of 7.6 in 2007, compared to 7.7 for Midtown — besting the sub-market for the first time since Sept. of 2001. At the end of the fourth quarter last year, 184 firms had relocated to Downtown since early ’05, totaling more than 4.2 million square feet in leasing activity. Over 412,000 square feet of these relocations occurred in that final quarter, the report added.
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  #207  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2008, 1:12 AM
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Newsday.com
WTC owner turns over land to developer for 2 planned towers
7:19 PM EST, February 18, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) _ The World Trade Center site's owner turned over land where two office towers are planned to developer Larry Silverstein, clearing the way for construction to begin soon on more skyscrapers at ground zero.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey finished excavating the land for the towers on Sunday, 48 days behind a deadline it set for itself in an agreement with Silverstein. The agency paid $14.4 million in late fees to the developer. It said it partially made up for the cost by not paying the contractor a $10 million bonus it would have received for finishing on time.

The Port Authority worked for more than a year to build 80-foot-deep foundations for two towers that Silverstein will build, removing nearly 400,000 tons of concrete, soil and rock. Silverstein had said that construction would begin on the towers within weeks after the land was turned over.

Silverstein held the lease to the trade center complex when it was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. The Port Authority renegotiated his lease in 2006, taking over the building of two of five planned office towers.

The agency agreed to excavate the eastern half of the lower Manhattan site for Silverstein's towers by set deadlines or pay $300,000 in fines a day. It has until June to excavate space for a third tower.

The skyscrapers, all at least as tall as the Empire State Building, are expected to be built in the next four years. Construction is under way at the site on a 1,776-foot building called the Freedom Tower, a Sept. 11 memorial and a transit hub.



Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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  #208  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2008, 3:07 AM
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Finally.
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  #209  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2008, 1:12 PM
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http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey...740.xml&coll=1

P.A. clears the way for 2 Ground Zero towers
Builder expects to have them done by 2011


Tuesday, February 19, 2008
BY RON MARSICO


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has completed preparation work and belatedly turned over property on the eastern portion of Ground Zero for construction of two new skyscrapers, officials said yesterday.

Steve Sigmund, the bistate agency's chief spokesman, said Silverstein Properties Inc. will be paid $14 million in penalties for the missed deadline and can now start building the pair of nearly 80-story office towers.

"You're talking about six weeks (late) on two major office (towers), which is not unusual," said Sigmund. "Of course, we would have liked to have completed it on time."

The impact is offset somewhat because the agency would have had to pay a $10 million bonus to its contractor had the work been completed on time. That means the Port Authority will pay $4 million more than expected.

Silverstein is building three skyscrapers on the former World Trade Center site; a tract for the other building is expected to be ready for construction by July 1. The Port Authority is responsible for building Ground Zero's signature structure -- the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower now under construction.

Work also is ongoing to build a new PATH hub and a 9/11 memorial at the site.

Port Authority officials have said the rock on the site proved more difficult to remove than originally anticipated, contributing to the delays. Overall, the agency said nearly 400,000 tons of soil, rock and concrete was hauled away to make way for the two skyscrapers. Additionally, the remnants of the old Hudson & Manhattan rail line and station had to be removed.

"Over 13 months, the Port Authority excavated and constructed an entirely new 80-foot-deep foundation in concert with the continuing daily operations of the World Trade Center PATH Station moving 80,000 commuters a day," the agency said in a statement.

Silverstein Properties has said it anticipates completion of these two skyscrapers by the end of 2011.
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Last edited by NYguy; Feb 19, 2008 at 1:39 PM.
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  #210  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 12:37 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/ny...on&oref=slogin

Work on Site at Trade Center Is Completed 48 Days Late

By GLENN COLLINS
February 20, 2008

After incurring $14.4 million in late fees, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey completed its excavation of the site for two office towers at the World Trade Center complex on Sunday, and turned it over to Silverstein Properties, the developer.

The site preparation in a 3-acre, 80-foot-deep pit adjacent to Church and Liberty Streets took 48 days longer than anticipated, and the authority incurred penalties of $300,000 a day for missing its deadline.

Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the authority, said Tuesday: “We would have liked to have finished on Dec. 31, but we are talking about six weeks’ delay in a five-year process involving an incredible amount of building on the entire site.”

The excavation, in an area called the East Bathtub, will be the sites of Tower 3 — at 175 Greenwich Street, which will have 2 million square feet of office space — and Tower 4, which will have 1.8 million square feet of office space at 150 Greenwich Street. Silverstein Properties, owned by the developer Larry A. Silverstein, is the leaseholder on the site and will build on it.

“We will be in full construction mode in a couple of days,” said Janno Lieber, the World Trade Center project director at Silverstein Properties, on Tuesday. “And within the next few weeks, we expect to have 50 workers and 30 pieces of heavy-duty construction equipment working on site.”

In effect, the penalty amounted to $4.4 million since the authority did not have to pay contractors a $10 million incentive for finishing on time.

In a statement on Monday, the authority said the project involved the removal of nearly 400,000 tons of concrete, soil and rock, the construction of a concrete bathtub wall to keep water out of the foundations, and the installation “of more than 240 steel tiebacks to hold that wall in place.”

In a 2006 renegotiation that designated Mr. Silverstein the builder of four towers at the trade center site, the authority insisted that construction be completed within five years, and in turn, Mr. Silverstein won the promise of penalties if the authority failed to finish its excavation on time.
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  #211  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 5:07 PM
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bout time
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  #212  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2008, 1:59 AM
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February 14, 2008
Silverstein Mobilizes in East Bathtub
This week the Port Authority began turning over the southern portion of the east bathtub to developer Silverstein Properties. Silverstein's construction team will spend the next several weeks preparing for construction at the site, where World Trade Center Towers Three and Four will be built. Meanwhile, the Port continues massive excavation at the north end of the east bathtub where Tower Two will rise. Silverstein is expected to begin construction work there in early summer 2008.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2008, 4:52 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/ny...l?ref=nyregion
Work on Site at Trade Center Is Completed 48 Days Late

By GLENN COLLINS
Published: February 20, 2008
After incurring $14.4 million in late fees, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey completed its excavation of the site for two office towers at the World Trade Center complex on Sunday, and turned it over to Silverstein Properties, the developer.

The site preparation in a 3-acre, 80-foot-deep pit adjacent to Church and Liberty Streets took 48 days longer than anticipated, and the authority incurred penalties of $300,000 a day for missing its deadline.

Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the authority, said Tuesday: “We would have liked to have finished on Dec. 31, but we are talking about six weeks’ delay in a five-year process involving an incredible amount of building on the entire site.”

The excavation, in an area called the East Bathtub, will be the sites of Tower 3 — at 175 Greenwich Street, which will have 2 million square feet of office space — and Tower 4, which will have 1.8 million square feet of office space at 150 Greenwich Street. Silverstein Properties, owned by the developer Larry A. Silverstein, is the leaseholder on the site and will build on it.

“We will be in full construction mode in a couple of days,” said Janno Lieber, the World Trade Center project director at Silverstein Properties, on Tuesday. “And within the next few weeks, we expect to have 50 workers and 30 pieces of heavy-duty construction equipment working on site.”

In effect, the penalty amounted to $4.4 million since the authority did not have to pay contractors a $10 million incentive for finishing on time.

In a statement on Monday, the authority said the project involved the removal of nearly 400,000 tons of concrete, soil and rock, the construction of a concrete bathtub wall to keep water out of the foundations, and the installation “of more than 240 steel tiebacks to hold that wall in place.”

In a 2006 renegotiation that designated Mr. Silverstein the builder of four towers at the trade center site, the authority insisted that construction be completed within five years, and in turn, Mr. Silverstein won the promise of penalties if the authority failed to finish its excavation on time.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2008, 5:56 PM
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Well, thankfully the Freedom Tower is underway.

Otherwise, we wouldn't see the skyline dramatically changed until one of these towers start to rise above Ground Zero.
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  #215  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 12:22 AM
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Glad to see this one going.
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  #216  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2008, 11:27 PM
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Glad to see this one going.
Now the fun really begins.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 12:33 PM
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http://www.observer.com/2008/build-n...ession-rebound

Build Now, Fill Later!
Trade Center Towers to Reap Recession Rebound

Economic funk has to lift someday—new towers will be waiting





by Eliot Brown
March 11, 2008


A global credit crunch and looming national recession have turned a once bustling market for commercial real estate on its head, as the level of leasing and sales within Manhattan has plummeted.

But could the dour economy, by putting a damper on proposed office building development, actually turn out to benefit the future World Trade Center towers?

Such a scenario now seems plausible, real estate professionals say, given recent local history, when booming job growth and economic expansion have tended to follow a recession by only a few years.

Just as the few developers who went ahead with projects in the dark days of 2002 reaped great rewards a few years later as employment grew and Manhattan’s office supply remained relatively flat, developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority, led by executive director Anthony Shorris, could score big if the economy expands at the right time.

“Banks have substantially tightened up—developers no longer have the free access to money to build speculative projects,” said Avi Schick, chairman of the state-run Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. “You look at downtown, and you say, downtown is going to have an edge, because there are six towers that are being built or planned. Everything is in place to make those happen.”

While not all agree that the World Trade Center towers will be an instant success—a recession could deal disproportionate injury to financial services firms, and could shoot up vacancy downtown, some contend—there seems to be a widespread feeling that despite a slowing economy, the conditions at the site are stronger than they were just a year or two ago.

Less citywide construction could lower costs at the World Trade Center site, a government official said. And the completion dates for the buildings developed by Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority—2012 for the Freedom Tower and Towers 3 and 4, and 2013 for Tower 2—should allow them to skip any current economic uncertainty.

“The marketplace in New York still needs new office space—we don’t have enough of it,” said Peter Riguardi, the president of the New York office of brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle. “I’m bullish on the World Trade Center.”

Surrounding the four World Trade Center towers—three of which have started or are soon to start construction—will be three of the country’s largest investment banks, one of which, JPMorgan Chase, could possibly further expand its presence.


“They’re considering ways to maximize the number of employees who can be downtown,” Mr. Schick said of JPMorgan.

The firm agreed in June to move to the site of the former Deutsche Bank tower—which is inching toward demolition after a fatal fire last summer—and to bring the world headquarters of its investment banking division, including about 7,000 employees, to the site. The preliminary design of the tower released last June would have a prominent set of trading floors that cantilever over a church below, an architectural feature dubbed by Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post as a “beer belly.” JPMorgan declined to comment about any possible changes or expansion to the tower.

Add to that the continued presence of Merrill Lynch, which back in December came to the brink of an agreement to relocate to midtown, a move that would have opened up a cavern of almost three million square feet of available office space at the World Financial Center just as the World Trade Center towers nearby were coming online, in 2013. Such a move surely would have changed the mood downtown overnight.

Merrill has been in talks with Brookfield Properties, its landlord, to extend its World Financial lease by five years, to 2018. A Brookfield spokeswoman, Melissa Coley, said the landlord was “in the midst of active and productive discussions” with Merrill.

Massive subsidies, too, will surely play a role in any successes at ground zero.

For both the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan as a whole, the city, state and federal governments have showered billions of dollars into various infrastructure investments, tax and rent incentives, and lease deals to draw businesses downtown, making any company’s move to Lower Manhattan far less costly than one to midtown.

The city, state and federal governments agreed to take the first chunk of leases within the complex, as they signed away about 2.2 million square feet of space at Tower 4 and part of the Freedom Tower in 2006. Another 6.5 million square feet or so are left to be leased in the complex.

The incentives easily add up. For instance, when officials announced the deal with JPMorgan to build its tower next to ground zero, the Spitzer administration said the company would get well over $200 million in subsidies, with the vast majority of that coming from programs available to any business moving downtown.

The extraordinary investment in infrastructure also plays a key role; this includes the billions in public dollars behind two new transit hubs, parks, the World Trade Center memorial and grants for small businesses.

All such subsidies have their detractors—critics say that some of the incentive plans passed had less to do with sound policy than with political trading—and some are less than bullish on the success of the World Trade Center towers.

Developer Douglas Durst, whose new tower at One Bryant Park has been far more successful than even he projected when he signed Bank of America as an anchor tenant in 2003, noted that the best time to be building, if one has the financing, is in the middle of an economic downturn.

“We always do like to build into a recession, not as one’s starting,” Mr. Durst said. “Building as a recession starts is somewhat of a risk.”

Mr. Durst’s Bank of America tower, which has fetched rents of more than $150 a square foot (Mr. Durst planned for about $100 a foot on the upper floors), also seemed better situated than the World Trade Center towers with respect to competitor office space.

His tower was one of very few new Class A office buildings to come available in Manhattan since 2001, making it a hotly contested commodity. And while there is still not all that much space coming on the market in the next five years or so—projects such as SJP Properties’ 11 Times Square and Boston Properties’ Eighth Avenue tower are both expected to be completed by 2011—the list is longer than a few years ago and thus competition for tenants is sure to be more intense.
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Old Posted Mar 13, 2008, 5:49 AM
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http://www.nysun.com/article/72813

Towers 3 and 4 To Start Rising at Ground Zero

By PETER KIEFER
March 13, 2008


Construction is finally set to commence on towers 3 and 4 at the World Trade Center site after five years of delay. Developer Larry Silverstein described the start of construction later this month as "nothing short of historic" and added that he was confident that a 2012 completion date for the project can be met.

The $20 billion development has been plagued by a number of setbacks, but is moving forward at a time when other projects are facing budget shortfalls at the city and state level, a drying up of available credit, and uncertainty about the incoming governor, David Paterson.
"We have finally reached the day when we are able to hand the ball to you in the design and construction industry," Mr. Silverstein said yesterday in his first public remarks since the Port Authority handed the excavated sites for the two towers over to him on February 18.

In a speech to members of the New York Building Congress, Mr. Silverstein laid out a detailed construction schedule that will stretch over the next four years. According to the plan, Silverstein Properties will build towers 2, 3, and 4, with all three expected to reach street level in one year. By the middle of 2010, towers 3 and 4 will reach their maximum height, with Tower 2 following in 2011.

The three skyscrapers will offer a total of 7.6 million square feet of office space, which experts say could help alleviate a shortage of space that has plagued the Manhattan market for the last eight years.

The executive vice president of CresaPartners, Robert Stella, said the lack of office space in Manhattan is due in large part to the difficulty of constructing anything new. With vacancy rates at around 6%, demand is still strong, but the softening of the economy makes its difficult to predict Mr. Silverstein's leasing potential, he said.

"Keep in mind those properties won't become available for quite some time," Mr. Stella said. "And it won't be likely that he will be dumping a lot of space onto the market without having lined up an anchor tenant."

Mr. Silverstein has just one anchor tenant lined up, the Port Authority, which has signed a lease to occupy 600,000 square feet in Tower 4. The city also has agreed to lease 600,000 square feet in the tower if Mr. Silverstein cannot find a private tenant to occupy the space.


"There will be significant demand by global corporations for the type of 21st-century office space that Silverstein will offer, but the overall pace of space absorption will be dependent upon economic conditions at time of delivery," the managing director of Real Capital Analytics, Dan Fasulo, said.

Two large cranes are being erected at the site, and contractors will begin test blasting this week. Builders should be "knee deep" in the foundation work by the end of the month, Mr. Silverstein said.

Speaking to reporters after the luncheon, Mr. Silverstein said he was not worried about lining up tenants and speculated that the project's completion date, December 2012, may be a blessing, as he could leapfrog over an economic slowdown.

"Between now and 2011 and 2012 we could be through three more cycles, so it's impossible to tell," he said, referring to his ability to lease out the space. "At the moment we are going through a much more difficult time, and presumably by the time these buildings are done those circumstances will be well be behind us."

The instability in Albany is a concern to developers, as Governor Spitzer, the scion of a large New York real estate family, has been viewed as a friend to the industry. His resignation yesterday and the impending promotion of Mr. Paterson to governor come at a precarious time for the development and construction industries.

Mr. Silverstein said he was sad to see Mr. Spitzer "passing from the scene," but was lighthearted when asked about Mr. Paterson. "First thing I would tell Paterson is that all the agreements have been signed," he joked.
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Old Posted Mar 13, 2008, 12:03 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/03132008...way_101757.htm

NEW WTC TOWERS FINALLY UNDER WAY

By TOM TOPOUSIS
March 13, 2008

Construction of two of Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein's three World Trade Center towers will begin this week when crews start blasting away at bedrock at the recently excavated sites, the developer announced yesterday.

"There has not been this much going on at the site since the cleanup ended in 2002," Silverstein told a luncheon sponsored by the New York Building Congress yesterday.

Silverstein, joined by Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Shorris, said the World Trade Center reconstruction is now throttling up into high gear, with construction beginning on every project within the 16-acre site.

Shorris said that in the coming months, there will be as many as 10,000 construction workers at the site, calling the project "an incredible construction machine."

So far, all the work has been going on 80 feet below street level on bedrock within the World Trade Center's twin bathtubs. But Shorris said the public will begin to see progress in a few months when the Freedom Tower's steel is expected to rise above the street.

By 2010, the Freedom Tower and Silverstein's Tower 3 and Tower 4 between Church and Greenwich streets will have reached their full height. A year later, Silverstein's Tower 2, at the northeastern corner of the site, will top out as well.

"By 2012, it'll all be over but the shouting," Shorris said.

Both Silverstein and Shorris said they expect the World Trade Center reconstruction to continue as planned, even with the departure of Gov. Spitzer and his replacement by Lt. Gov. David Paterson.
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Old Posted Mar 13, 2008, 2:28 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/03132008...way_101757.htm

NEW WTC TOWERS FINALLY UNDER WAY

By TOM TOPOUSIS
March 13, 2008

Construction of two of Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein's three World Trade Center towers will begin this week when crews start blasting away at bedrock at the recently excavated sites, the developer announced yesterday.

"There has not been this much going on at the site since the cleanup ended in 2002," Silverstein told a luncheon sponsored by the New York Building Congress yesterday.

Silverstein, joined by Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Shorris, said the World Trade Center reconstruction is now throttling up into high gear, with construction beginning on every project within the 16-acre site.

Shorris said that in the coming months, there will be as many as 10,000 construction workers at the site, calling the project "an incredible construction machine."

So far, all the work has been going on 80 feet below street level on bedrock within the World Trade Center's twin bathtubs. But Shorris said the public will begin to see progress in a few months when the Freedom Tower's steel is expected to rise above the street.

By 2010, the Freedom Tower and Silverstein's Tower 3 and Tower 4 between Church and Greenwich streets will have reached their full height. A year later, Silverstein's Tower 2, at the northeastern corner of the site, will top out as well.

"By 2012, it'll all be over but the shouting," Shorris said.

Both Silverstein and Shorris said they expect the World Trade Center reconstruction to continue as planned, even with the departure of Gov. Spitzer and his replacement by Lt. Gov. David Paterson.


Great!!

And the towers just keep on coming! And now to prep the last part of Ground Zero for the construction of Tower 2 in the northeast corner.

By this coming summer, the whole site sould be jumping and bustling with constr. equipment!
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